Ode to Jimmy Murray


Oh, when he was born on a bright May morn’ nearly ninety years ago
He never cried, but his young eyes spied a bright thing that made him crow
‘twas a football shirt and though caked with dirt, as he sat on his mothers knee
And his father said ‘He’s a kicker bred, he’s a gallant true young Murray’

As a growing boy, there was no grand toy he preferred to an old football
And the bouncing sphere would dry every tear and silence every sob and squall
When he went to school, sure he proved no fool and the schoolmaster did decree
As he lined up the ball, stood proud and tall, ‘There’s a hero in young Murray’

As he older grew, oh he joined the crew who met on The Green each eve’,
And they’d play non-stop ‘til the stars came up and the darkness made them leave
He learned new tricks and he practiced kicks and the right way to take a free
‘til no one there could at all compare with the gallant Jamsie Murray

Oh, he often dreamed of the County team and soon was their shooting star
Though it blew a gale, still he never failed to send it across the bar
Oh, the crowd would roar when they saw him score and the young lads went wild with glee
While the ladies stared at his shoulders squared and sighed, ‘That’s Jimmy Murray’

He won great fame in the Gaelic game, his style was a treat to behold
But his greatest deeds were on summer fields when he togged in the Blue and Gold
And he slaked our thirst when we won our first in nineteen and forty-three
Oh, our captain grand on the Hogan Stand was the gallant Jamsie Murray

What pride and fire bore the Sam Maguire across the Shannon’s foam
That gallant team of forty-three who brought the trophy home
And the bon-fires blazed a glorious trail to St. Pat’s in Knockcroghery
And he gave an encore in forty-four, our own Jimmy Murray

When the score is closed and the whistle blows for the last lineout of all
Then beneath his name, write ‘He played the game in all things as in football’
And the one who waits by the Golden Gate will turn with his face full of glee
Saying ‘Come across, you have won the toss, step inside young gallant Murray’


Written by Johnny Johnston from Creagh, Co Roscommon.
Jimmy Murray played on the Roscommon team that won the Sam Maguire cup in 1943 and again in 1944.

1943: Roscommon 2-7 Cavan 2-2
1944: Roscommon 1-9 Kerry 2-4

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